This morning, I did a 75 km ride. The last long ride before next weekend’s Pacific Populaire. I rode out to New West and back along River Road, up and over Little Mountain to Stanley Park, a lap on the road around the park, up the Prospect Point Hill climb, down the long, fast descent and back up Little Mountain.
Surprisingly, it was more difficult than I expected. I felt terrific for the first 45-50 km. And then, despite hydrating regularly and 2 Cliff Bars, I seemed to “bonk”. I finished the ride maintaining a decent pace but, I was spent.
I’ll spend this week trying to figure it out. Was I too cold? Did I wear the right clothing? Did I eat enough? Did I drink enough? Had I fully recovered from yesterday’s “Very Hard” workout? It’s a mystery.
I had one small bottle of water with electrolyte for 3 hours. Probably not enough. I ate 2 cliff bars, 1 every 45 minutes. Probably not enough. At the 60 km mark, I felt like a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I wore 3 layers – a long sleeve synthetic base layer, a long sleeve marino wool top and my cycling rain jacket. The jacket doesn’t breath well (but good in the rain). When I got in, the 2 under layers were soaked. And, I felt chilled most of the ride. I think I may have worn the wrong jacket.
Performance is more than conditioning. I know that I am physically prepared for next weekend’s ride. I am in better shape than I was at the end of last season. So many other things can affect performance. Proper nutrition. Proper hydration. Proper clothing. The elements. Heat. Cold. And, wind. That’s why it is important to ride in all conditions so you learn how your body responds. I do, and yet, I get caught off guard sometimes.
The good thing is the bike, the Roberts, performed better than I did. I train on this bike mostly. It is an old steel frame equipped with a Shimano Ultegra 10-speed group. It is a very comfortable and, relatively fast ride. I’ll give it another good cleaning and lube before next week’s ride but I don’t worry about it performing well.
It’s just me that needs attention.